Senior captain Chloe Wight reflects on her time with Triton tennis.
My last walk from the not-so-secret parking spots on John J Hopkins Drive to meet my team at the tennis courts was completely unexpected, but somehow wholly appropriate. The angry, gray sky was threatening, but in a tangible way unlike the shroud of uncertainty that the virus had brought. The street that normally had me waiting at least half-an-hour for a parking spot was deserted, echoing the unsettling emptiness that was creeping onto campus.
The previous day, I took my very last final as a UC San Diego student. Our highly anticipated match-up against Azusa Pacific had been canceled for the second time because of the rain. Only a few hours later, our entire season, along with every other collegiate or professional season, would be indefinitely suspended.
Walking on the UC San Diego Women’s Tennis Team as a freshman was the most rewarding decision I could have made. I loved it so much that I extended my time at UCSD to include a fifth year, fully exhausting my eligibility to make the most out of the competition I fell in love with at the age of two. In that time, I made friends who became sisters, worked with coaches who became mentors, and made strides in my tennis that I couldn’t have imagined.
Though the abrupt end to my fifth year was one that I certainly had not expected, it is one that will never define the experience I had with my team.
My time as both a student and an athlete at UC San Diego is defined by the four plus years of friendship, growth, and challenge that excited me every day. It is the sleepy yet determined faces I would see at Spanos twice a week at 6:30 am. It is the anticipation as we rode in the vans towards our celebratory (or consolatory) Yogurtland. It is carrying your teammate to the car when she sprained her ankle on match point. It is pasta nights and Friendsgivings that make you laugh so hard that you cry. It is the third set tiebreakers in deciding matches when your feet are cramping, but there watching you are the ten faces that you would gladly give your all for.
Above all, being a UC San Diego athlete is defined by superseding your expectations in ways you never thought possible, and applying everything that makes you good at your sport, to the rest of your life.
Chloe Wight is a five-year member of the UC San Diego women’s tennis team. The Santa Monica, Calif. native earned her degree in human biology following winter quarter. She recently accepted a position as an account executive with Zynex Medical based in Colorado. Wight, who will be working in Orange County, plans to pursue her MBA in the future.
This story first appeared in the online series, “In Their Own Words” by UC San Diego Athletics.